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Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow

I'm a poz guy, diagnosed HIV+ in 2003. I've been blogging here at since March 20th, 2011. I am a self-taught social media junkie doing facebook and twitter. I'm a great retweeter. About four years ago I was asked to take on the position of Social Media Coordinator for PositiveLite. My other online presence is as an administrator for the

I volunteer at two ASOs (AIDS Service Organization) in my area: ARCH (HIV/AIDS Resources & Community Health) in Guelph Ontario and ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area). I work as a PRA (Peer Research Associate) for the OHTN (Ontario HIV Treatment Network). In my spare time I am a hobby photographer; some of my photos may show up in my blog. 

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It takes my breath away... a few times each night!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, General Health, Health, Living with HIV, Media, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow: "I asked the one question I knew I had to, knowing I didn’t want to hear the answer. And I got the answer I didn’t want to hear."

It takes my breath away... a few times each night!

First I should make a short apology for absence from posting anything here on PositiveLite for a while. I have been going through some writer’s block and periods of, ‘there’s really isn’t anything to tell’. I am writing today because I think this is a significant development for me and might relate to someone else; maybe.

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor today. After reading my test results she asked if I had any other concerns and today I did. I asked the one question I knew I had to, knowing I didn’t want to hear the answer. And I got the answer I didn’t want to hear.

I'd gone in for the results of my last blood work. I am into my third month on Triumeq and all is going great so far. I say so far because it usually takes me about four to six months to notice if there are any unusual changes in my day to day health. I’m happy to say that my CD4 count on Triumeq has increased from 420 up to 530, this is good. I haven’t seen this number in a couple years. I am still undetectable and my percentage was 30%. I had my blood pressure checked prior to seeing the doctor and my numbers were bang on, I’m in great shape.

So, my question to the doctor was more of a statement as I told her how I have been waking up in the middle of the night fighting for air. It’s like there is no air in the room to breathe. It’s a frightening experience. I was thinking maybe there might be poor air circulation down in the room, or maybe I was becoming asthmatic, it does run in my family.

As I finished describing what was happening, she turned to me and said something like, “you just diagnosed your own case of sleep apnea”. She went on to explain that if we treat it, it will help with many other little things I’ve complained about. She said it explains the troubles with my blood pressure, being tired all the time, being exhausted and even the acid reflux. With acid reflux the same thing happens. When the bile wants to come up, everything happens quickly, I go bolt upright in bed and try to stop myself from vomiting until I can get to the washroom.

I told her I didn’t want to hear that answer, I didn’t even want to ask the question or talk about it but something deep down made me say something. I told her I hoped I wouldn’t have to go around with the oxygen tank and I really hated the contraption you have to use at night with sleep apnea. This is another ailment that runs in my family - with my mom and a brother.

I’m waiting for appointment will be made to take the sleep study to confirm the alleged diagnosis. This means going to a centre and sleep, or try to so they can calculate how often it happens. I don’t sleep well in strange places but she said its common for people to think that way but I should be able to sleep long enough for them to get the information they need.

I wondered how expensive the C-pap machine would be but she assured me it is covered so we will wait to see. I know with my mother, she has had to pay for a new mask or another flex hose so I expect I might have to pay something one day. They don’t last forever.

I dread going to my doctor, it’s always something.